Work Experience

Work experience is a key component of the Year 12 programme of study. The term work experience refers to all forms of work-related activity including work tasters, running a student enterprise, participation in social action, volunteering or a work placement taken with an external employer. It aims to give young people the opportunity to develop their career choices, get a first taste of work, and develop those critical employability skills needed for real working conditions. All students are expected to undertake work experience or work-related training as part of their study programme.


In order to maximise the outcomes of work experience, it is important to be clear about the learning outcomes for students.

1. Generic skills: experiencing work, including following working routines, working with adults, undertaking new tasks, developing confidence. You may also wish to use the placements to focus on, for example, improving motivation by highlighting the links between learning in school and working life, or on raising awareness of opportunities in work or learning.

2. Understanding and developing employability skills.

3. Learning outcomes related to subjects. These are particularly relevant for students on vocational courses and are more often a feature of placements for post-16 learners.


It is our intention that every student should complete a minimum period of one week of work experience by the end of Year 12. It will normally take place during the last half term of Year 12, but should exceptional opportunities arise, we shall do our best to accommodate them. This academic year work experience will take place between July 3rd and July 7th 2023.


For the academic year 2022-2023, West Derby School has entered into a contract with Elevate. It is the responsibility of Elevate to complete the necessary Health and Safety and Employer Liability checks and liaise with West Derby School to communicate that these checks have taken place.

Students will be given the opportunity to organise their own work experience placements. This arrangement benefits the students in so far as it encourages them to use their initiative to find suitable placements, to make contact with employers and generally to negotiate with adults about issues to do with work experience. However, these self-placements will also be quality assured in terms of suitability, health and safety and employer liability insurance by Elevate and communicated to West Derby School for the purposes of quality assurance. The school reserves the right to withdraw students from the programme if there are significant concerns relating to poor behaviour, attendance etc. If a student is unable to secure a work placement after his/her own efforts, Elevate and WDS will assist in the search of a high-quality work placement.

TIMELINE for 2022-2023

October 2022: Students are given consent forms to complete with their parents agreeing to the terms and conditions of a work experience placement.

Students are given a work experience ‘self-placement form’ for them to complete with their parents, and the employer with whom they have secured a place.

If students are unable to secure a placement for themselves, they will be given a ‘selection’ form to indicate the type of work experience placement that they would prefer, and how far they are prepared to travel.

Both forms require students to sign a data protection agreement, and for parents to share any health concerns about their son that may have health and safety implications for their son’s placement.

Finally, both forms require parents to show that they have consented to their son taking part in work experience, that their son will abide by the conditions set out, and that the school may also provide information about their son to Elevate and the employer. Whilst the ‘self-placement form requires the same consents to be given by students and employers as the ‘selection form’, it also requires the employers to provide Elevate with their details, their employer liability insurance and to agree to a health and safety visit of their workplace by Elevate.

May-June 2022: Students will be given and taken through the Elevate Work Experience journal in their form / PSHE lessons to further understand what is expected of them in terms of work experience, i.e, safeguarding, contacting their employer beforehand, determining how they will get to and from their work experience, calling their employer before their work experience starts to introduce themselves, informing their employer and the school if they are going to be absent on any given day of their work experience, keeping a daily log of their work activities, asking their employer to complete a reference at the end of their placement etc.).

May-June 2022: Students will be given their work experience job descriptions. They should take this home to their parents to ensure that they are happy with their placements. Parents will also receive a letter regarding their son’s work experience (this will also be messaged out through Weduc).

Any concerns should be reported to the school work experience co-ordinator Ms C Jones, or the Heads of Sixth Form: Mrs R Williams and Mr S Donohue, or the assistant to the Heads of Sixth form Mrs P Speed. The school reserves the right to withdraw any pupil from a work experience placement if we believe it to be unsuitable, or if we believe that there are significant behavioural or attendance concerns in advance of the placement.

July 3rd to July 7th 2023: Year 12 will undertake their work experience placement. They will receive a safeguarding assembly to inform them of what they need to do to keep themselves safe when travelling to and from, and whilst at their work experience placement. They will be reminded to contact the school immediately if they have any concerns during their work experience placement. Parents will be made aware via Weduc that this assembly is taking place and what their sons have been told.

July 13th 2023: Review work placement with Year 12 in form and PSHE lessons and discuss achievements with students. Work Experience journals to be held by school so they are ready for when students are writing their CV / completing their UCAS applications in Year 13.


  1. You cannot go to a placement that has not been authorised by Elevate and West Derby School, or one that has not received the necessary health and safety and employer liability insurance checks.
  2.  A placement will not be authorised after the deadline has passed.
  3.  You cannot go another week due to exam/coursework time constraints (except in special and agreed circumstances).
  4. If you do not secure a placement, you should attend school as normal.
  5. Any student who does not attend their authorised placement or attend school in the dates specified for work experience will have their absence recorded a unauthorised.